A Deadline Cynic

She was biting her nails in front of the laptop. She worked for a news blog which posted twelve pieces a day, including one really big. Only six hours left and the big one was still missing.

The text editor was open, but she only had the first words of a headline. “By 2050.” The rest was missing like a severed limb, and the phantom pain was driving her crazy.

The door lock snapped open and her boyfirend walked in.

“Jer, what’s up?” she cheered, turning away from the screen.

“Let’s eat, I’m starved, babe.” He was holding bags of groceries.

They started a lasagne. She was chopping some vegetables and he was prepping the ground beef. They were shooting the breeze. Finally, she got to the garlic. Stopped. Frowned.

“Babe,” she said, “I’ve never seen garlic so weird looking.”

“Let me see. Yeah, it’s a little misshapen.”

“No, not only that. Touch it. The texture is weird. And the smell… Ugh.”

“Yeah,” he laughed, “I got the cheap kind. Probably some radioactive garlic from China.”

When the lasagne was in the oven, her boyfriend sat on the couch with his guitar, and she got back to the big news piece. This time, words came naturally, strong and true. “Radioactive Garlic from China Floods the Market.”

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